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Rated: 13+ · Book · Experience · #2004507
This is my blog for junior year!

Thanks to Legerdemain for the image and divider. Check out more of her work at "Leger's Shop [18+].
CounterCulture!

"Rebel against this culture that sees everything as temporary and that ultimately believes that you are incapable of responsibility, that you are incapable of true love." - Pope Francis

CounterCulture!

Welcome to my blog for junior year!

CounterCulture!

I was going to have this be really long and explanatory but that would be a waste of time. So, I'll keep it to a point. Teen culture is currently screwed up. I'm going to resist the temptation to join and see if I can turn things around for the better. How? Beats me.

CounterCulture!

"Love like I'm not scared"

CounterCulture!

That's a song lyric but I think it's a good place to start. I think that's what I'll try my best to do. Be the example. Try my best to be kind and loving to everyone. Do my best to not hate people mean to me. Maybe I'll make a difference.

CounterCulture!

This IS NOT a promise to be perfect. I'm a teenager, and I'm human. I'm not perfect. I will screw up. This IS a promise to try my best.

CounterCulture!

*Cross1*If you are offended by talk of faith in God you probably don't want to read this. I've given you fair warning.*Cross1*

CounterCulture!

BCOF Insignia

CounterCulture!

Blog City image small

CounterCulture!
Previous ... 1 2 3 4 -5- 6 7 8 ... Next
October 17, 2014 at 8:44pm
October 17, 2014 at 8:44pm
#831520
CounterCulture!

Boogie Wonderland
Brittany Murphy

CounterCulture!


         Oh this was my absolute favorite scene from the movie Happy Feet. I would rewind it OnDemand over and over again. I probably would've done this sooner if not for my mother.
         So, a long time ago she told me that the woman that played Norma Jean, the mother penguin in the film, died. Well, I looked her up on Wikipedia. She's not dead. And so I was really confused.
         While discussing the Jukebox with my dad, I told him I couldn't think of anything. He asked me if I had used this song. And I'm like "No, I checked she's not dead." "Yes she is." I whip out my iPad and check. "Yeah, Nicole Kidman's not dead." "Nicole Kidman's in that movie? I meant the other one, Gloria." "Oh? Her?" And I check. She's dead.
         And thank you Dad. I can finish this and I didn't have to delve to deeply into the slave spirituals.
         And then when my mom got home I asked her why she told me the mother penguin was dead. And she went "She is." And I said "No, she isn't." And she goes, "Oh, it must've been Gloria then."
         Go figure.

CounterCulture!


         So, today I did not have school. I did, however, have band.
         I am having a tuning problem. You see, the way music works is that each note can either be in tune, too sharp, or too flat. You can change the sharpness and flatness of your flute by changing the position of the head joint. Well, I can only put my flute head joint in one position at a time. And so, when your low notes are really flat and your high notes are really sharp and you are playing a song that goes from low to high without any pauses long enough to change the position, and you have bad ears to begin with anyways, and you're the only flute on first so you can't get written out of things (I can't believe I'm wishing I could get written out of this-- well I guess I'm not. I'm wishing I could get it in tune.) it's extremely frustrating. I am in a no win situation. I need to talk to my private flute instructor about tuning because I don't have a clue what to do. I've never been good at tuning, and I realized my situation last year didn't help. Here's some reasons why:
1) I had Ethan the Freshman to my right for most of the year. He played so loudly and so out of tune when we were tuning I couldn't hear anything and therefore couldn't learn the proper sounds. (thank goodness Ethan transferred)
2) I had David the Senior at my left for most of the year. I am fully confident I passed David in skill level at some point during sophomore year. However, the one thing I needed him for, tuning, he failed to help me. He played so incredibly quiet I couldn't hear him over Ethan. Or Jay. Or anyone for that matter.
3) Evan was no help when we tried to tune stuff. He'd literally just tell us to hold notes until we got them in tune and he wouldn't give any suggestions or anything. I barely know how to tune as it is. And that's probably because of him.
4) I was in Zero Hour Band for half the year. Zero Hour guys automatically have a harder time tuning. Jay does. His tone has decreased in quality significantly since being in Zero Hour.
5) I'm bad at tuning anyways.
         Okay, so now that I've got all of the negative stuff out of the way, let's get to some of the good stuff.
         After band, we all needed to get our uniforms for the concert fitted. Basically, there are several closets full of uniforms (I don't think Mr. J has changed the style of the uniforms since the 80s either) and we find the size that fits us best. We have a generic idea from last year's measurements. And so everyone finds theirs.
         Mr. J had to go do Parent/Teacher conferences, so he left me and TJ (senior, bass clarinet) in charge. I had the clipboard and had to write down everyone's numbers for pants and coats. I felt so leadership-ly.
         And I wrote on the whiteboard with instructions because people kept asking me the same question. And then I still got asked that question. Over and over again. And I'm like "Look at the board" and they go "We're freshmen. We can't read."
         Fair enough.
         Then, Mr. J came in and told us we needed to clean the band room. Except, I needed to get my own uniform fitted (I got last choice- which means my pants are too small and my coat is a bit too big. Curse my ridiculously small waist (you have no idea how hard it is to shop for pants) (do you know anyone else that does parentheses inside of parentheses?)) And so anyway the band room is pretty much cleaned by the time I find pants and a coat that are close enough to fit me sorta. So I go up to Ben, who's like the head senior, "Ben, what do you want me to do?" He points to the table that I had placed the clipboard on "Can you clean this up?" I did. I put away all of the stuff for labeling the uniforms, and then and idea struck me. There were at least ten people not present. Mr. J would have to get all of the stuff back out from his drawer when they fitted themselves for their uniforms. So I go up to Ben "Would it be acceptable to write a list of people who still need to get their uniforms fitted on the board?" "Yeah, that's actually a good idea."
         And so I get Jalen (freshman alto sax) to read off the names of the people who didn't have numbers next them and I wrote them on the board, organized the papers and stuff so it looked neat and then wrote "Uniform Fitting Stuff Here" and drew an arrow pointing to the stuff.
         Then, everyone left, except I was still waiting for my mom to finish Parent Teacher conferences. While doing that, I noticed that there were leaves all over by the door. I went "Peter (freshman trumpet), can you vacuum back here?" And he does. And I notice that the cooler full of pop was empty and so I dump out the melted ice water. And then I showed Peter and Jalen the video of us performing at the fall concert last year. And then I had to leave.

CounterCulture!


         My teachers all loved me. As usual.
         I was supposed to get my driver's license today, but that ended up not happening. We literally made it to the DMV, and then my mom saw the line and knew how busy she was going to be that afternoon and she didn't have time to wait for two hours, so she told me we'd get it after school on Monday.
         Oh, well. I won't be driving much once I get it anyway. I'm getting it solely because my permit expires November 8th. But at least I can teach myself how to drive after my mom adds me to the insurance. We have a third car, so I can learn on that. And school is so close I can just drive there and park in a parking lot that lets school parking park there. Not as many cars are parked there, and I'm really bad at driving in parking lots. The funny thing is that I'll basically be walking halfway home to get to my car. *Laugh*
October 16, 2014 at 7:56pm
October 16, 2014 at 7:56pm
#831395
CounterCulture!

Wade in the Water
CounterCulture!

         I have absolutely no idea who wrote this song but I am 100% positive that they're dead. So, basically, yeah, I like hearing slave spirituals. I like something about that gospel sounding music. {e:shrug} that needs to exist. When anyways, I wasn't going to do it, but then for English we had to read a slave narrative (Equiano, if you're curious) and it gave me an idea for an epistolary story. And epistolary is a story written in letters and documents. Between that, and my attempt to make "Come Sail Away" a concert band song, I've certainly got enough to do. Without even adding my Winter Winds stuff. I'm going to go back to CSA now. I've got an idea of what part of the song I want each instrument to do, now I just need to write it. It could sound awesome.
         Check out this video my Youtube suggested after watching those orchestral Adele songs. I think Fivesixer is right: orchestra makes everything better.
October 15, 2014 at 11:15pm
October 15, 2014 at 11:15pm
#831302
CounterCulture!

The Entertainer
Scott Joplin

CounterCulture!


         So I got the idea for this one from the PSAT today. There was a question where I had to choose the part of the sentence that was grammatically incorrect (piece of cake) and it was about Scott Joplin. And I'm like, hey, if this guy was composing music in 1899 there's no way he's not dead. Well, here's my piece for today, with fortyfive minutes to spare.
October 14, 2014 at 10:20pm
October 14, 2014 at 10:20pm
#831186
CounterCulture!

Purple Haze
Jimi Hendrix

CounterCulture!


         So basically I didn't want to do another Beatles song yet and the only other song I could think of was a pep band song. Purple Haze. I swear Mr. J hasn't bought new pep band music since the 1980's. I mean they're all really fun to play, don't get me wrong. But I think probably the most recent song we have is the Superman theme, and we don't even do that one anymore because no one liked it. But, I guess if I can find enough pep band songs by artists who are dead, *Smile*

CounterCulture!


         I take the PSAT tomorrow and I'm really nervous because I feel really pressured and I keep doing practice tests and I do awful on the math section because it's stuff I learned like ten years ago. This must be how adults feel when they have to do math. I'm in Calc BC, not Algebra 1. And I'm really bad at mental math (like somehow 2.25x2 ended up being 5 in my head). Well, nothing I can do about it now. At least this one doesn't matter. Much. It is the National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test. But I don't need to be a National Merit Scholar, do I?
         Well, I kinda want to be. But I'm not like freakishly smart. Well... I'm like an average smart kid. I'm not the best, I'm not the dumb smart kid, I'm just average. The people at the top of the class are jerks anyhow. One of them is really mean and unfortunately the second meanest person to me in band is best friends with him and I know they discuss me a lot as a joke. Like I was sitting in class before the bell rang and then all of the sudden I hear my name roll in through the door from the hall. And so I get up to get a drink right outside, and sure enough, it's those two. Talking about me. Somehow.
         And then the other one is possibly the most foolish person I have ever met in all of my life. He's not stupid. He's top-of-the-class smart. But he's very very foolish. And obese. And sweaty/smelly.
         Well, apparently the ever-loving Westboro Baptist Church is going to be protesting Catholocism somewhere close to my school on Monday. We got an email about it and everything. We aren't supposed to interact with them at all, and just completely ignore them, but we are encourage to do any of the following:
         *Bullet*Ask your teachers to discuss this in class
         *Bullet*Write letters to newspaper or political representatives about your views
         *Bullet*Engage in a self-examination of your personal prejudices
         *Bullet*Pray for a greater respect for human dignity
         *Bullet*Re-commit to speak against hate, prejudice and discrimination
         *Bullet*Stand against bullying in our own community.
         *Bullet*Wear pink shirts promoting tolerance to school on Monday as many already do on Thursdays.
         I'm thinking of buying a pink shirt over the weekend just to make protesters mad. I love pissing off people who are too prejudiced about things. For instance, I'm kind of a jerk to a guy who's a real jerk to everyone. I know I need to work on it. I actually apologized to him yesterday after I asked him if his entire life just consisted of video games and bigotry. That one was more just for laughs, but that's not really how it works for me at school. I forget that sometimes.
         Anyway, the loving Westborians' principle foundations are so contradictory to everything Christian that it just makes me laugh. Like, I know it's a tragedy and yada yada whatever. But if you look past that and focus on the irony it's really, really funny.
         Ah, well. I probably won't even see the protesters. I think I'm getting my driver's license tomorrow! Get out of the way, here I come!
October 13, 2014 at 6:20pm
October 13, 2014 at 6:20pm
#831069
CounterCulture!

Born To Be Wild
Nash the Slash

CounterCulture!


         So I went on that Dead Rock Stars' Club thing and just my luck, I happened to spot one I recognized! This is my 6-8th grade math teacher Mr. J (not to be confused with my band teacher Mr. J) 's favorite song. He had a little groundhog thingy that would dance around and sing this song, and he called it Hank, and he'd yell "No, it's born to be SMART, Hank!"
         He was so funny. He had cancer. And he beat it. Twice. Booyah.
         So I was looking for songs to listen to on YouTube and I found a couple pretty awesome things. One, there's a guy who takes his violin and does covers to pop songs. Here's a for instance

Throwback to "Some Nights

         And then from that page I found this orchestra that does pop songs. Here's an example of that:


         I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty awesome.
         My English teacher read "Seeing Green and she thinks its really good. She suggests I enter it in the Scholastic writing competitions. She says she thinks I have a shot. I'll need to talk to SM about how the presence of the story on this site will affect everything. I mean I could just delete it but I'm not sure I want to do that. I'll figure it out.
October 12, 2014 at 4:43pm
October 12, 2014 at 4:43pm
#830927
CounterCulture!

Battle Hymn of the Republic (Inherit the Wind Style)
Julia Ward Howe/William Steffe

CounterCulture!


         Behold the image of the loving Christians of the early 1900s. *Laugh* Okay, so this is from the movie Inherit the Wind   which is probably one of the best black and white movies I've ever watched. There's another song in this movie, that also would've worked for this, but I unfortunately couldn't find the movie version off of YouTube. It's "Old Time Religion." They sing that like all the time in that song. So much so that any time I hear any phrase that sounds vaguely like any of the lyrics of that song, I start singing it. I am very, very susceptible to getting songs stuck in my head. "Old Time Religion" was stuck in my head for a month. And everyone's heads.
         But anyway, when this scene rolled around in the movie, I burst out laughing. And then I forgot about it. And then when I was searching for "Old Time Religion" this popped up.
         We watched this movie in Theology class last year. I've kinda run out of classical songs that I listen to too (excluding our two concert pieces from last year-- which I will not link because I have so many times before, and Habanera, which I used for the first Soundtrackers Challenge). So, now we're moving on to other things I hear: songs from history. We might end up with a few slave spirituals, folk songs, and bluegrass. (Shoot can't use Dixie either)
         Ah, well, I'll figure it out.
         I've realized I don't blog as well when I do it everyday. It's better for me to do it like once a week so I actually have stuff to talk about.
         Back to practicing.
October 11, 2014 at 9:42pm
October 11, 2014 at 9:42pm
#830851
CounterCulture!

Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds
The Beatles

CounterCulture!

         I am so incredibly sick of the piece I'm playing for my Winter Winds audition. But I still to play it. I think I'm going to move on to the next eight measures. I would link it but I can't find it on YouTube.
         Here is the only song I can play on Beatles Rock Band. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. LSD, if you prefer. Oh we have a thing in band called LSD. Long, Slow, Directed. Or something that ends with D. It just basically means we play really really slowly to get something right. I unfortunately have to do this and SBTs (Symphonic Band Techniques) to get anywhere with this song.
         I ended up working in the three-year-old room, then the two-year-old room, then the elementary room at church. I have a new respect for elementary teachers. I am so tired. Off to practice.
October 10, 2014 at 6:42pm
October 10, 2014 at 6:42pm
#830737
CounterCulture!

La Bamba
Ritchie Valens

CounterCulture!


         Okay, so tonight is Homecoming game. I don't really care that is, just thought you all should know. We're doing pep band tonight and I have to be there at 7:15 WDC time so this is going to be a quick entry. Basically, I wanted to do a pep band song today, and this is one of my favorites. Tonight is also MCS night *Sick*. Basically, we have to play with a bunch of sixth-eighth graders who aren't very good. Their tuning really hurts my musician's ears.
         Apparently Ritchie Valens died at 17 in a plane crash that became known as The Day the Music Died  . Hey, is Don McClean still alive? (goes and checks on Wikipedia). Shoot. Well, I've got a couple ideas for tomorrow anyways. Not really. But I'll find something. I have yet to use the Beatles and Johnny Cash, even though I don't know very many of their songs.
         I reorganized my portfolio. Y'all should check it out. Gotta go. Peace!
October 9, 2014 at 5:52pm
October 9, 2014 at 5:52pm
#830648
CounterCulture!

Chant and Jubilo
W. Francis McBeth

CounterCulture!


         I'm sure you're all sick of me posting band songs. Too bad. I don't listen to very much music otherwise, certainly not by dead artists. And since McBeth is conveniently dead, I'll continue to use his pieces. I'll try not to include Joyant Narrative since I've linked that one a zillion times in old blogs, but if I run out of ideas I'm running to that.
         I received the following email today:
Hey, Flute Nation, check this out. It got me to thinking about flute harmonic studies for improved tone. Let’s try some of this and incorporate it into a routine, like the daily brass lip slurs. You two will have a prominent part in one of our contest selections, Chant and Jubilo by McBeth. Listen to it for the cool flute lines.
If you haven’t already studied this with Nestor let’s pick his brain on how to effectively approach this. On to contest.

Mr. J

         Attached was a video of some singer. So, today, my unfortunate lucky readers are going to get a quick band lesson on random music topics to help you understand this email a bit more.

CounterCulture!
Lesson 1: Brass Lip Slurs

         So, if you were to look at a flute, clarinet, or saxophone   you would notice that there are a lot of keys. Well, each key combination corresponds to a different note. And, with a few exceptions, each note has a different fingering (although some notes, such as C, can be played on the same fingering in two different octaves.) Well, take a look at the trumpet, French horn, trombone, and tuba  . (Don't ask me what a flugelhorn is I don't know-- probably a bugle.) Well, there are only three or four keys (or no keys, in the case of the trombone). Which means that, despite the fact that you can get a large amount of combinations on three keys it's not enough to live up to eleven notes per octave, with at least two octaves (three for trumpets.) So, therefore, brass players must use the same fingerings for some notes. And how do they differentiate between notes? Changes in the shape of the lips. Lip slurs is a warm-up activity that helps get the lips warmed up for jumping notes with the same fingerings, as well as helping with the higher octaves.

CounterCulture!
Lesson 2: Song Nomenclature

         Song titles don't always have a direct meaning. However, with this song, Chant and Jubilo, I can distinguish two things without even looking at the music. This song has two movements, one is entitled Chant, and the other Jubilo. Hence the title, Chant and Jubilo. It's the same thing as songs like Ayre and Dance. Movement one is Ayre, movement two is Dance. And, since one of the songs we played last year was entitled Chant Funeraire  , and it is a painfully slow song (man I hated that song), it would lead me to believe that Chant is a title used for slow song. Which makes sense, given the first part of C&J is slow. And then Jubilo, makes me think of jubilee. And that's kinda what Jubilo sounds like. I personally like Jubilo better. I'm more of a faster paced guy when it comes to music.

CounterCulture!

         That wasn't too bad, was it? *Laugh*
         Well, that's it for now. I've got Calculus to study for.
October 8, 2014 at 10:11pm
October 8, 2014 at 10:11pm
#830513
CounterCulture!

Galop
Dmitri Shostakovich

CounterCulture!


         This is our most recent band piece that we've added to our repertoire for the fall concert. No, we aren't playing it this fast yet. We're probably at about a fourth of this tempo. I have to say though, it's pretty impressive that this is a high school band. I mean I think I can hear one bad clarinet and the piccolo seems a bit off, but this is a freaking high school band. Playing something by a Russian composer. At *Music1* = a bajillion. Five bucks says they're from Texas. As good as my band is, we would get slaughtered in Texas.
         So the writer of Mucho Macho is not dead, so I can't post the song. Well, at least not as part of Resurrection Jukebox. Let me see if I can find it on YouTube...



         Our band sounds better. Well, back to transposition. Love, peace, and music!

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